Hiker found dead in the Ital­ian Alps

Stockport Express - - News - KATHER­INE BAIN­BRIDGE kather­ine.bain­bridge@men­media.co.uk @KBain­bridgeMEN

HEART­BRO­KEN friends of a back­packer who died in the Ital­ian Alps have paid trib­ute to the pop­u­lar young man.

Keaton Emery never re­turned from a hike through the moun­tains near Lake Como, where he was do­ing vol­un­teer work at a sail­ing school.

Search and res­cue teams spent three days look­ing for the for­mer pupil of Chea­dle Hulme School in Stock­port af­ter he went miss­ing on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 7.

They even­tu­ally re­cov- ered a body from a crag at the bot­tom of a 60ft drop close to the sum­mit of the 1,700 me­tre high Leg­non­cino moun­tain on Sun­day.

The 23-year-old had hoped to com­plete his around the world jour­ney with­out ever tak­ing a plane flight.

Armed only with a back­pack and a ham­mock, he set off from his home in Mac­cles­field on his bike in March and cy­cled all the way to Ply­mouth, where he caught a ferry to France.

He then cy­cled to Spain and hitch­hiked to Italy, tak­ing buses and trains along the way.

Speak­ing on what would have been Keaton’s 24th birth­day, his best friend Jill Pa­ton said she is dev­as­tated at the loss.

De­scrib­ing him as a ‘true philoso­pher’ she said Keaton gave her the con­fi­dence to love her­self and had ‘an in­cred­i­ble heart filled with kind­ness’.

“His in­stinct was al­ways to be­friend and help peo­ple and he never thought twice about of­fer­ing his help to any­one, stranger or friend,” she said.

“The world is a much duller place with­out Keaton.”

Jill, from Den­ton, said Keaton had al­ways dreamed of trav­el­ling.

“He taught us all a les­son in fol­low­ing your dreams, no mat­ter how many peo­ple tell you that you can’t,” she added.

Keaton stud­ied pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham and was con­sid­er­ing start­ing a masters de­gree.

He also worked at Vanilla in All Sea­sons cater­ers, based in Con­gle­ton, Cheshire.

A ca­pa­ble out­doors­man, he loved hik­ing, sail­ing, camp­ing, rock climb­ing and dreamed of one day own­ing his own boat.

He had been work­ing at the Fuori de Vela sail­ing school in Do­rio, north­ern Italy, when he went miss­ing.

Best friend Alex Gleave said Keaton had a ‘hunger for ad­ven­ture’.

In a mov­ing trib­ute she wrote: “Your per­cep­tion of the world was unique, brilliant and com­pletely per­fect. I am so so sad that I will not make more hi­lar­i­ous mem­o­ries with you but I am so so happy that you shared your views with me and that I can make mem­o­ries in your hon­our be­cause you changed this cyn­i­cal girl’s heart for the bet­ter.”

His close friend Will Roy­lance added: “He wanted to meet as many peo­ple as he could and if you were lucky enough to meet him you know just how gen­uinely lovely a per­son he was. He was a brother to me and he al­ways will be. I didn’t get to tell him enough how he made my life bet­ter. I loved him. Make sure you cher­ish those you love.”

A spokesper­son for the For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice said: “We are in touch with Ital­ian au­thor­i­ties fol­low­ing the death of a Bri­tish na­tional in Colico and are pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to his fam­ily.”

Keaton Emery

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